Internal Controls FAQ's

What is an internal Audit?

What is an Internal Audit?

What is the difference between an internal audit and the annual external audit?

What are the Objectives of an Internal Audit?

What happens during an internal audit?

Can I refuse to have an internal audit? 

Do I have to agree with what Internal Auditor has recommended?

Who looks at the Internal Audit reports?

Can I ask Internal Audit for assistance?

What do I do if I suspect a colleague is doing something illegal?

 


1. What is Internal Audit?

Internal Audit is a service to district and Board of Education.  It evaluates the effectiveness of the systems and procedures within the District.

2. What is the difference between an internal audit and the annual external audit? 
An External audit is a statutory requirement that determines whether the District’s accounts present a true and fair view of the financial position. The internal auditor reports to the Superintendent and Board of Education on the systems of governance, risk management, internal control and value for money.  This means the scope of the work is much wider and covers a number of non-financial areas used within the District.

3. What are the Objectives of an Internal Audit?
The objectives of an internal audit are to:

  • establish the areas of risk in the area being audited;
  • establish the controls in place to address those risks and review their adequacy;
  • verify whether the District’s financial regulations are being followed;
  • carry out detailed testing of the controls being relied on; 
  • make recommendations where weaknesses or inefficiencies are observed.

4. What happens during an internal audit?
The Internal Auditor first meets with Department or School Site leadership to find out the budget objective, the associated risks, and what controls are in place. We may also need further meetings with other members of staff to obtain more detailed information on the controls that are used.

Tests are carried out to verify that controls are adequate and are operating effectively. This may require sampling, observing work being performed, reviewing notes of meetings and holding discussions.

The team will then meet again with the Department or School Site leadership to discuss our findings and any recommendations we wish to make in the report.

After this meeting, a draft report is produced. The report includes an action plan that summarizes the recommendations, the agreed actions, and timescales.

The Department or School Site leadership will be asked to comment on the factual accuracy of the report before it is finalized. Because all of the findings will have been discussed prior to the production of the report, there should not be any surprises in what it says.

5. Can I refuse to have an internal audit? 
No. The Internal Auditor has a right of access to all documents and records needed to carry out the audit. Accommodations can be made about the timing of the audit, although in exceptional circumstances this may not be possible.

6. Do I have to agree with what Internal Auditor has recommended?
Not necessarily. The degree of importance of recommendations varies. There are

  • fundamentalrecommendations where urgent action is required;
  • scope for significant improvement, where action should be taken but the risk is not so great; 
  • merit-attention recommendations, which are general suggestions for improvement.

Fundamental recommendations should generally be dealt with promptly and the others in accordance with the agreed action plan. The internal auditor’s office goal is to minimize disputes by discussing our findings and the implications before the report is drafted.

The implementation of the fundamental recommendations and a sample of others will be reviewed by Internal Audit within twelve months of the audit visit.

7. Who looks at the Internal Audit reports?
All audit reports are reviewed by the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Board of Education, upon request.

8. Can I ask Internal Audit for assistance?
Yes. Wherever resources permit, the Internal Auditor’s office is available for assistance and/or advice regarding the District’s rules and procedures and/or help with the implementation of new systems.  If you need to contact someone in Internal Audit click here to be taken to our staff contacts page.

9. What do I do if I suspect a colleague is doing something illegal?
You should initially contact the Internal Auditor. Your concerns will be taken seriously and appropriate inquiries will be made.